Asthma in children is a heterogeneous disease manifested by various phenotypes and endotypes. The level of disease control, as well as the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory treatment, is variable and inadequate in a significant portion of patients. By applying machine learning algorithms, we aimed to predict the treatment success in a pediatric asthma cohort and to identify the key variables for understanding the underlying mechanisms. We predicted the treatment outcomes in children with mild to severe asthma (N
= 365), according to changes in asthma control, lung function (FEV1 and MEF50) and FENO values after 6 months of controller medication use, using Random Forest and AdaBoost classifiers. The highest prediction power is achieved for control- and, to a lower extent, for FENO-related treatment outcomes, especially in younger children. The most predictive variables for asthma control are related to asthma severity and the total IgE, which were also predictive for FENO-based outcomes. MEF50-related treatment outcomes were better predicted than the FEV1-based response, and one of the best predictive variables for this response was hsCRP, emphasizing the involvement of the distal airways in childhood asthma. Our results suggest that asthma control- and FENO-based outcomes can be more accurately predicted using machine learning than the outcomes according to FEV1 and MEF50. This supports the symptom control-based asthma management approach and its complementary FENO-guided tool in children. T2-high asthma seemed to respond best to the anti-inflammatory treatment. The results of this study in predicting the treatment success will help to enable treatment optimization and to implement the concept of precision medicine in pediatric asthma treatment.
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